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Weekend In Entertainment: Plenty Of Jazz, Workshops & Virtual Cheerwine Festival!

Adrian Crutchfield
Adrian Crutchfield
Adrian Crutchfield

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, musicians, artists and entertainment business owners are finding new and inventive ways to keep going and stay connected to their fans and clientele. For instance, Dawn Anthony and Sean Higgins are performing some of their favorite jazz cuts in a livestream concert Friday. And they’re not the only ones.

There’s also saxophonist Adrian Crutchfield, the Cornelius Virtual Jazz Festival, the Cheerwine Festival and a few live workshops online this weekend. Joining WFAE's "All Things Considered" host Gwendolyn Glenn to talk about these events on this edition of Weekend In Entertainment is Katrina Louis, managing editor of QCity Metro.

Gwendolyn Glenn: Hi Katrina! Long time no hear from.

Katrina Louis: I know, right? It’s so good to hear from you, Gwen.

Glenn: Same here. Tell us about Dawn Anthony and Sean Higgins.

Louis: There's pianist and composer Sean Higgins, who has opened for acts like Dave Holland and Talib Kweli. He's actually also studied at UNC Wilmington. And then there's vocalist Dawn Anthony. She sings everything from classical to jazz to gospel. And she also earned a degree in music from Queens University of Charlotte. 

Katrina Louis, QCity Metro
Credit Sarafina Wright
Katrina Louis, managing editor for QCity Metro.

Glenn: And that’s Friday night. Where can we view their performance online?

Louis: You can watch it on Facebook Live. They’re doing a live jazz set Friday at 8 p.m.

Glenn: And on Saturday there’s the Cornelius Virtual Jazz Festival with pick-up food and beverage available as if it was a live event? 

Louis: The town of Cornelius, their Department of Parks, Arts, Recreation and Culture is moving their jazz festival online to a Facebook livestream on Saturday from 5 -8 p.m. It'll be an evening of jazz with music from Calvin Edwards, the Holly Hopkins jazz band and the Eli Yacinthe Band.

Glenn: There is also the Cheerwine Festival on Saturday that takes place every year. It's back virtually this time around, of course. How is this one happening? 

Louis: The annual outdoor event draws thousands of people each year, so it was a little disappointing when it was canceled. But there'll be a livestream happening this Saturday and they'll actually have a pretty good lineup. They'll have hip hop pioneers, the Sugarhill Gang, who's known for their Rapper's Delight hit. And then there's Tone Loc, who fun fact was the second rap act to reach No. 1 on the Billboard charts. That show starts at 5 p.m. and you can check it out at Cheerwinefest.com

Glenn: And also to keep people busy while they are hopefully staying at home during the pandemic this weekend, there are some workshops that folks can participate in. The Virtual Museum: The Charlotte History Toolkit with historian Tom Hanchett and J. Michael Moore. Tell us about those.

Louis: They pulled together a collection of research, tips and tools that explores the history of Charlotte neighborhoods. So there are old newspaper clips, city directories, things like that. So there is a webinar that is a demo of what users can expect from the website. 

Glenn: OK. Now there is the Adult at Home Art Workshop on Saturday (and) Secret Window Books with Arts. Sounds interesting.

Louis: If you've ever wanted to try your hand at bookmaking Arts+ is hosting its second art-at-home workshop for adults. So you'll get step-by-step instructions on how to create handmade books and you'll assemble them using a collage, glue binding and paper cutting. There really is an art to it. So luckily there are step-by-step instructions. The Zoom meeting is happening on Saturday from 2-3 p.m. and you can sign up at ArtsPlus.org/Program/Workshop

Glenn: Katrina, with stay-at-home orders in place during the pandemic, lots of folks on the arts scene who are artists or host artists have been significantly affected financially, and also entertainment venues. How are they doing? 

Louis: You know you have venues like the Neighborhood Theatre in NoDa, which has set up a GoFundMe page to help them out during this time. Venues like MiddleCJazz ... you've probably seen the weekly live events with Maria Howell and Noel Freidline. They said that they have strong financial backing to help them get through this time. Then there’s venues like the Fillmore, which has been linking to national acts. So you can see your favorite local acts (and) also some national acts on their site. 

Glenn: Well, Katrina, let's go out on a high note with saxophonist Adrian Crutchfield. Tell us about him and how listeners can hear him online this Sunday. 

Louis: He is a Charlotte native and attended Northwest School of the Arts. A lot of people know him because he recorded and performed with Prince. He led Prince's 11-piece horn section, the New Power Generation. But he's also toured with Lionel Richie and CeeLo Green and even Charlotte’s Anthony Hamilton. This Sunday, his performance is called The Lovers Lounge, and he'll play from the Playroom in Charlotte. That show starts at 7 and runs till about 7:45 p.m. And he's also answering audience questions with a Q&A. 

Glenn: OK. Well, Katrina, thanks for being with us this week. Continue to be safe. 

Louis: Thanks, Gwen. Same to you.

Glenn: Katrina Louis is the managing editor of QCity Metro. 

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